discover the places where Vincent lived and worked

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

In July 1885, after almost a decade of construction, the Rijksmuseum opened on Stadhouderskade. In October of that year, Vincent van Gogh travelled to Amsterdam to visit the museum with his friend Anton Kerssemakers, because he so wished to see the works of Frans Hals and Rembrandt van Rijn again. Afterward, he wrote to his brother Theo:

“The Syndics is perfect — the finest Rembrandt — but that Jewish bride — not reckoned so much — what an intimate, what an infinitely sympathetic painting, painted — with a glowing hand. You see, in The syndics Rembrandt is true to life, although even there he still goes into the higher — into the very highest — infinite. But yet — Rembrandt could do something else — when he didn’t have to be true in the literal sense, as he did in a portrait — when he could — make poetry — be apoet, that’s to say Creator. That’s what he is in the Jewish bride. Oh how Delacroix would have understood that very painting! What a noble sentiment, fathomlessly deep. One must have died many times to paint like this — is certainly applicable here. Still — one can speak about the paintings by Frans Hals, he always remains — on earth. Rembrandt goes so deep into the mysterious that he says things for which there are no words in any language. It is with justice that they call Rembrandt — magician— that’s no easy occupation.” Read the complete letter


Vincent was already familiar with many of the works he saw in the Rijksmuseum because they had been exhibited in the Trippenhuis or Museum van der Hoop while he was living in Amsterdam in 1877–1878. 


Reindert Groot, Teio Meedendorp
Vincent van Gogh over Amsterdam, een stadswandeling rond 1880
Bussum, 2003

Lekker wandelen in Amsterdam, Van Kattenburg tot Begijnhof, Met Vincent van Gogh door Amsterdam
VVV Amsterdam

Reindert Groot, Sjoerd de Vries
Vincent van Gogh in Amsterdam
Amsterdam, 1990

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